Compiled by Linda Sherry
Worship Support Specialist
“Here’s what I discovered. Intention is different from setting goals or resolutions in that Intention “pulls us into” who we truly are. Goals and resolutions “push us out” into future possibilities. To set intentions, we must listen to our inner voice which tells us who we truly are.”
– Katie Covey, Soul Matters Director of RE Resources
So here we are again, in the month of January, with its talk of daring resolutions and demanding calls to become better. It’s hard to resist. After all, who of us couldn’t benefit from a bit of self-improvement?
But are we sure this is what we really want? When you read that quote above about being “pulled in” rather than “pushed out,” what happens in your heart? Is being pushed really what you want and need? Are you really excited about the New Year’s work of striving to create a brand new you? Or do you suddenly notice an internal whisper that says, “I long to be pulled in more deeply to the self I already am”?
Living with intention seems to be more about creating a quiet space that allows us to connect with who we already are, a space that protects us from the pressure to accomplish and instead makes room to ask questions of heart, of meaning, of purpose.
And if we are able to carve out that quieter space, then maybe we will discover that this isn’t the year of “finally becoming a better me.” Maybe we’ll decide it’s enough to simply “finally be me.”
–Excerpted from Soul Matters Small Group Materials
Here are a few quotes to ponder:
Before you tell your life what you intend to do with it, listen for what it intends to do with you. Before you tell your life what truths and values you have decided to live up to, let your life tell you what truths you embody, what values you represent.
–Parker J. Palmer
Intention is the difference between those old mustard stains and Jackson Pollock.
A person will worship something, have no doubt about that. We may think our tribute is paid in secret in the dark recesses of our hearts, but it will out. That which dominates our imaginations and our thoughts will determine our lives, and our character. Therefore, it behooves us to be careful what we worship, for what we are worshipping we are becoming.
–Ralph Waldo Emerson
We are what we pretend to be, so we must be careful about what we pretend to be.
Conscious change is brought about by the two qualities inherent in consciousness – intention and attention… Whatever you put your attention on will grow stronger in your life. Whatever you take your attention away from will wither, disintegrate and disappear.
Intentional living is the art of making our own choices before others’ choices make us.
Any dead fish can go with the flow — you have to be intentionally alive to swim against the current.
A Prayer of Good Intention
So far I’ve done all right.
I haven’t gossiped,
haven’t lost my temper,
haven’t been greedy, grumpy, nasty, selfish, or overindulgent.
I’m really glad about that.
But in a few minutes, God,
I’m going to get out of bed.
And from then on,
I’m going to need a lot more help.
* * * * * *
WUUC engages in exploration of a new theme each month from Soul Matters.
Throughout the month we may dive into these ideas during worship, in small groups, In committee meetings, in private discussions, and hopefully within our own hearts.
Find the January Soul Matters packet here.